Master of Science Program: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have the statistics prerequisite completed by the application deadline?
It is highly recommended that you complete the statistics prerequisite by the application deadline. As a reminder, an introductory college-level statistics course must be completed within five years of UCSF entry; a recent course is desirable. For example, for Fall 2020 entry, any statistics course taken and completed prior to Fall 2015 does not meet this requirement. A college-level statistics course taken at an accredited college or university that results in credit on the college’s transcript meets this requirement. Online courses that earn credit on an accredited college or university transcript meet this requirement.

We do accept applications that list the statistics prerequisite that is in-progress at the time of application submission or planned for completion before entering UCSF. In the prerequisite section of the application, list that the course is in-progress in the grade field, and list the quarter/semester when the course will be completed. Applicants must provide evidence of completing this requirement for admission by providing the college transcript that displays the statistics course grade and credits earned. See more regarding the statistics requirement.

If I am a re-applicant from a previous admissions cycle, are there any additional instructions for me?
Re-applicants must submit a revised goal statement and at least one new or updated letter of recommendation. While you may use previously submitted letters of recommendation, the Office of Student Affairs cannot upload them to a new application on your behalf. You will still need to contact your previous recommenders and have them upload the LORs themselves. Re-applicants may contact the Office of Student Affairs for assistance with previously submitted transcripts or TOEFL/IELTS test scores.

Is the GRE required for the Master of Science program at UCSF?
No, the GRE is not required for any of the UCSF School of Nursing programs.

How do I decide which specialty to apply to?
When you apply, you will be asked to select a specialty area, which will largely determine your future as an advanced practice nurse. This is a critical decision and should be made with great care. As you can imagine, there is a tremendous difference in the specialty education of a nurse midwife compared to that of a gerontological clinical nurse specialist. It is essential that you research these different specialty areas thoroughly in advance, that you reflect carefully on your experience, personal interests, strengths, weaknesses, talents and inclinations so as to make the most informed decision possible. Each specialty area has its own dedicated webpage on this website that you can explore for detailed information.

If I apply to a specialty with an early admissions deadline and do not get in, can I apply to a different specialty in the same admissions cycle?

No. It is official Graduate Division policy that applicants cannot submit more than one graduate program application in a given cycle. There is one Masters program in the School of Nursing, despite there being multiple specialties. When an applicant chooses to apply to the Masters program, it is important that they apply to the specialty they are most interested in and is most appropriate to their career goals, as they cannot apply to the Masters program twice.

English was not my first language, but I completed my bachelor’s degree in the United States. Am I still required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?
Waivers of the TOEFL exam are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Applicants may submit an appeal letter to the Office of Student Affairs. In the appeal letter, you must detail your use of English both in the academic setting and in your current and prior work experiences. Applicants are advised to submit this letter well in advance of the application deadline, so that in the event of a denied waiver, you have ample time to take the TOEFL exam and send your scores in to complete your application. Send your appeal letter to [email protected].

How many days during the week am I required to be on campus?

Days on campus vary with each quarter of the program. Number of campus days is also influenced by the individual student's elective choices, by the need to fill prerequisites, and by individual clinical placements. On-campus classroom activities typically average two to three days per week. Please note that currently, during the COVID-19 pandemic which began in 2020, didactic classes are offered in various formats, including remote, hybrid and in-person. This practice may change in the future.

Flexibility in scheduling decreases throughout the program, as the clinical residency requires more time. Program faculty and students must accommodate the needs and limits of clinical resources and cannot necessarily choose specific days or hours for clinical placements.

Is it possible to work while attending school?
Most students enrolled in school need to work to supplement their financial aid, savings, or other sources of income. It is often difficult to accommodate both classroom and clinical schedules. When clinical hours are greatest and require flexible scheduling, it can be difficult to accommodate work schedules, but not impossible. Students have found that trying to keep a work schedule to 50 percent or less during the academic year is recommended. Consult with your specialty coordinator for more information about program specifics.

How do I find housing in the area? Is it expensive?
Many of our students find that sharing housing is a good approach to addressing the issues of availability and cost. Housing in the Bay Area may be expensive, but the campus Housing Office can assist. This website contains information for on campus housing, as well as resources to identify off campus housing. We advise newly admitted students to start their housing search as soon as possible.